My dad was a baker. Not in any official capacity mind you, but when he wasn’t tending the animals on our small family farm in Vermont, you would find him in the kitchen baking bread, and pies, and donuts.
Oh, how I miss the delights that emerged from his oven, filling our farmhouse with ambrosial scents!
He had his method of doing things as we all do, and one process stands out in my memory.
He always sifted his dry ingredients. Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt; whatever the particular recipe called for. I can vividly remember him holding the sifter over the mixing bowl, working the mechanism, and tapping the side to make sure everything fell through. This was also a good job for a little girl who wanted to help her daddy in the kitchen.
I often see these flour sifters at antique stores, so I’m not sure that anyone uses them anymore. My dad did and it served a purpose.
Sifting does several things, it removes lumps and adds air to the flour making it much lighter and therefore easier to mix with the other ingredients. Dad saw it as a necessary part of preparing the ingredients.
We can use a lot of analogies for the process we go through as Christians in our journey of faith. The ‘working out of our salvation’ as Philippians 2:12 says. Sometimes it feels like a refining fire, a threshing floor, or a wine press.
The truth is God is shaking things up. God says, “I will shake not only the earth, but the heavens also.” (Hag 2:6; Heb 12:26) When He is done, only that which is unshakable shall remain.
Beloved, these experiences don’t make us who we are, they reveal how we will embrace the truth of who God made us to be. And in Christ, we are heirs to this unshakeable kingdom.
“The kingdom we are given is unshakeable; let us, therefore, give thanks to God for it, and so worship God as He would be worshipped, with reverence and awe; for our God is a devouring fire.” Heb 12:28-29
God is not only shaking things up, He’s making things new.
“Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” ‘ (Rev 21:5)
The flour and other ingredients alone don’t sustain and feed us. Mixed together they make bread, which provides nourishment to the body. All our human analogies will fail at some point, but scripture speaks clear:
In Christ, we become a new creation (II Cor 5:17). [Mixed] together with Him, we are now part of His unshakeable kingdom and able to serve the body of believers and perform (walk) in the good works for which He created us! (Eph 2:10)